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30,000 People a Month Think Kia’s Logo Says ‘KN’

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Kia logo

Image: Silas Stein (AP)

Kia updated its logo at the beginning of 2021. With new products like the Telluride, K5, and EV6, the company wanted to start the third decade of the 21st century with a new brand image. The brand’s logo went from a simple circle with “KIA” in the middle to a more modern, almost abstract “K I A” with all letters connecting. But apparently, people don’t see “KIA” when they look at the logo; Google search data shows that some 30,000 people every month are searching for “KN” because they think thats what the logo says.

This has been going on for a while. We first got a hint of the confusion in late summer 2021, when a Reddit post asked had “anyone ever heard of KM cars?”

I’ve saw them twice in Upstate SC both times on car transporters, close to inland port both times. Sedans and SUV’s neutral colors like red, gray or black and no discernible features besides the large silver KM logo on the backs. They were headed North both times, they appear to be brand new.

People in the comments let the poster know that those cars were in fact Kia’s and not “KM.” Over a year later, the logo’s confusion has lingered and reached thousands more people. Data shows people searching online and asking the big questions like:

  • What car logo is KN?
  • Who makes KN car?
  • What is KN cars?
  • What car has the initials KN?

Our own staffers have also noticed its similarity to the Nine Inch Nails logo, especially when seen in a rearview mirror.

Kia Logo

Image: Kia

Those are just a few of the actual searches that people are Googling. I think some of the blame can be placed on both people and Kia. On one hand, I can see why people would think the Kia logo says “KN.” Kia having all the letters connect makes it look like two letters, with the top of the K touching the top of the I, and then the bottom of the I touching the first half of the A. There could be a small split between the letters, as The Drive pointed out. But on the other hand, thinking the logo says KN doesn’t make much sense as the N would be too wide, almost to the point of it being a V. No one I know writes an N like that.

In the end, though, it all works out for Kia. It’s just stirring up brand interest. People going down the rabbit hole of trying to find out who “makes that KN car” just leads people to find out more about Kia and its cars. So this whole confusion thing just may end in Kia selling a lot more cars over a misunderstanding.

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